Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Risks of my Intimacy with Unbelieving Friends

There are times when I feel the guilt of spending too much time with unbelievers and I can't have the guts to share the gospel to them. I always ask myself: Why do I love to be with him/her/them? When we had our New Testament survey in I Corinthians when I was still a youth in my home church, I learned that the very reason that you are supposed to be mingling with unbelievers is the Great Commission. If you cannot share the gospel to them, do not be yoked with them as warned by Apostle Paul in II Corinthians 6:14.

It is unavoidable to have circle of friends in our workplaces or schools. It would even be a negative testimony if we would shun them and isolate ourselves. It is often a question of up to what extend should our friendship with them be. But that is not for me to answer in this blog, I will try to enumerate some effects of having friendship with the unbelievers and the answer to our question will be answered by you yourself.

(NOTE: I don't want to impose a Pharisaic attitude here; I am also guilty of them most of the time.)

It degrades our standard of morality.

1 Corinthians 15:33 says that bad company corrupts good character. At first, their curses are stench to us. Their choice of words are unpleasant to our ears. Their topics when they converse  are alien to us. Eventually, we do curse even in our mind or even sometimes it just slips into our mouth.We communicate to them in their jargon and we know their up-to-date topics. We even sometimes lead the conversations. 

It lets us spend our time in unfruitful ways.

When I was in college, I enjoyed spending a vacant time in the woods to read a book or listen a song. Somehow, I am missing that solitude. Now I find myself, most of the time, spending vacant periods chatting with unbelieving friends. There is a very thin line between knowing the news or updates from colleagues to gossiping. I usually convince myself that I need to know what's happening in my community but sometimes I just catch myself gossiping already.

It shifts our attention away from our godly visions.

It is not only that actions and lifestyles are degraded. Even the high standards we have with our principles and convictions are compromised. Our GOD-entranced vision becomes patterned into this world. We lower our standards now and begin to love the things of this world. We may find ourselves adapting this world's definition of beauty that we forget to cultivate the inner beauty which is so precious to God (I Peter 3:3-4).

It changes our priorities.

We also change our priorities. The usual Bible/book reading becomes TV watching. Praying time becomes fb/chat/twitter/selfie/google plus/DOTA time. I also surf the net and I was rebuked on spending much time in it at night for instead of spending a quality time with my husband and with our GOD, I am there infront of the netbook. My pursuit of heavenly perspective is blurred by my pursuit to be "in" and be not left behind by my friends.

It affects our testimony.

Our testimony is also at stake. There are common sayings: "Tell me who your friends are ad I will tell you who you are." And "birds of the same feather, flock together." Not that true at all? "It depends upon the situations", you may say. Then how come that the Bible says, "Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?" (Amos 3:3) 

Whether we face it or not, there will be eyes that may be looking up to us. How do we show that we are different from this world when we love to join the world?

Proverbs 12:26 says that the righteous choose their friends carefully. I am not into the position to judge you for having unbelieving friends, I also have mine. But I am reminding you as I ask the Lord to always remind me the level of intimacy I am supposed to give them. Heart check should also be frequently done so we will not be dragged easily into this world and not be enticed by its ways. But if we know that we are easily influenced by them, may be it is time to look for believers in your community. If you can't find one, ask the LORD to give you one.


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